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Lots of anxiety over this article...
Let's break it down and see what it really means.
cbc.ca/news/health/co…
In case you want to read the original paper, it's here: nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NE…
Basically, the researchers wanted to find out how long the virus was “viable” on surfaces and in the air as an “aerosol”
2/
"Aerosols" are 5 microns or smaller in size, and float in the air, but “respiratory droplets” tend to be bigger than 5 microns, and drop to the ground within 1 metre of where they come from (your face)
3/
When we cough / sneeze / talk, we create larger "respiratory droplets"
But when doctors do certain procedures on a patient’s airway, we might create true "aerosols"
4/
So, how long the virus was “viable” on different surfaces?
Viable virus was found on PLASTIC for about 72 hours, and
on STAINLESS STEEL for up to 48 hours, but in much smaller numbers than at “time zero”
5/
On COPPER, there was no viable virus found after 4 hours,
and none found on CARDBOARD after 24 hours.
But what about this “aerosol” headline – that’s the scary part, right?
6/
“SARS-CoV-2 remained viable in aerosols throughout the duration of our experiment (3 hours)” they said, but reduced numbers over time…
The used air at 21-23°C and 65% relative humidity – not exactly most of Canada right now
globalnews.ca/video/6695679/…
7/
Compare this to studies that have found NO evidence of aerosolized coronavirus in the HOSPITAL ROOMS of COVID-19 patients (real, live, coughing people)
jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/…
8/
So, CAN this new coronavirus live in the air, in aerosol form? Yes, in a lab, it certainly can. Maybe even in real life.
But is it LIKELY that it can SPREAD to people in the real world due to this? No, I don't think so. BUT...
These are still early days and the research is being done, fast and furious, with little time for peer-review and replication of results - which are 2 cornerstones of good science.
As I've said before: good science takes time.
10/
Bottom-line for me (and for actual experts out there) is that this is interesting data, but not proof that the virus can actually spread a lot in an aerosolized form.
statnews.com/2020/03/16/cor…
11/
It’s relevant from the doctor who might be putting a breathing tube into a critically-ill patient with COVID-19…
But not to a person at the grocery store walking by another person, or people walking past each other in a park...
12/
That’s important: it means our best advice is still:
Wash your hands
Don’t touch your face
Stay home sick
And stay 2m away from others if they’re coughing or sneezing

13/13
One small correction on social distancing: please stay 2m from everyone, but *especially* those who are coughing & sneezing.
14/13
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